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Democracy in Development: An Update on Mobile Technology in Development

by Isobel Coleman
July 20, 2012

A vendor hawks second-hand mobile phones at the sprawling Kibera slum, one of the largest and poorest slums in Africa, near Kenya's capital Nairobi on August 26, 2011 (Noor Khamis/Courtesy Reuters).A vendor hawks second-hand mobile phones at the sprawling Kibera slum, one of the largest and poorest slums in Africa, near Kenya's capital Nairobi on August 26, 2011 (Noor Khamis/Courtesy Reuters). A vendor hawks second-hand mobile phones at the sprawling Kibera slum, one of the largest and poorest slums in Africa, near Kenya's capital Nairobi on August 26, 2011 (Noor Khamis/Courtesy Reuters).

This week on my blog, I featured a two-part series on mobile technology in the developing world. On Tuesday, I wrote about how mobile phones are enabling people in the developing world to access banking services and obtain life insurance. On Thursday, I discussed how mobile technology helps NGOs extend resources and aid to those in need—and how it helps evaluate the impact of these projects. As I write in Tuesday’s post:

In the past, one reason why banks did not court the poor as clients is because the cost of processing their small transactions outweighed any advantage to the bank; but mobile technology is significantly decreasing transaction costs.

You can read part one here and part two here.

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